Fearful of offending the students who don’t celebrate the autumnal holiday, one elementary school in Seattle decided to can its annual “Pumpkin Parade” because the celebration “marginalizes students of color.”
After debating the issue for five years, administrators at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School took the advice of the school’s “racial equity team,” pulling the plug on the Halloween-themed parade, according to KTTH-FM, a local talk radio station.
The parade included a procession of elementary kids donning costumes.
“Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday,” a spokesperson told the station, referring to Halloween. “Specifically, these students have requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place.”
“In alliance with [Seattle Public Schools’] unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African-American males, the staff is committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day,” the representative added.
Stanley Jaskot, principal of the elementary school, confirmed the annual celebration had been removed from the calendar, claiming Halloween is “a very complex issue for schools.”
“Yes, I agree this event marginalized our students of color,” he said, according to Fox News. “Several of our students historically opted for an alternative activity in the library while the Pumpkin Parade took place. This was an isolating situation and not consistent with our values of being an inclusive and safe place for all our students — especially students of color and those with a sensitivity to all the noise and excitement of the parade.”
School officials informed parents on Oct. 8 that the event had been nixed.
Instead, kids will participate in more inclusive fall events, like “thematic units of study about the fall” and analyzing “autumnal artwork.”
One father with a 7-year-old son in the school, David Malkin, described the change in schedule as “an exercise in affluent white vanity that is wokeism.”
“I don’t see any way in which this actually addresses any inequities to the extent that there are any inequities,” Malkin, who is Asian, told KTTH-FM. “You know, this just seems like grandstanding on behalf of the principal and the staff, who are predominantly white.”
The father added he’s “sure” school administrators “don’t want to hear from anyone of any race or ethnicity that doesn’t really want to go along with them in lockstep.”
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